miscellaneous · musings

Why I don’t monetise my blog.

I’ve read a couple of posts by “big-name” sewing bloggers recently about why they are monetising their blogs.  They provide great arguments and rationale.  I especially understand why you would want to monetise your sewing blog if you have a sewing related business – or if you have a huge readership who clearly do follow your links.  But here’s why I don’t monetise mine.

  • Sewing – and by extension, blogging about it – is my hobby.  By definition, a hobby isn’t a job.  I don’t make money out of it.
  • If I wanted to make more money, I’d do more hours at my day job.  The hourly return there is far more than I would ever get from blogging.
  • I’m a small-time blogger.  Why would I want to bother monetising?
  • Money creates expectation.  If I’m being paid or receiving financial reward in some way from what I am doing, there are certain obligations that go along with that, whether explicit or implicit.  I’m not interested in those obligations.
  • No-one makes me blog.  I blog for me.  I am thrilled that there are people who like to read my blog, but the main driver of my blogging is to record my sewing and crocheting.  It’s an online journal.
  • I link to patterns I like, products I use, books that I read, web-sites that I frequent, shops that I buy from.  Because they are what I use.  Not for any other reason.  I don’t want to link for any other reason.
  • Not everything in life has to be about money or financial reward for effort.  What about karma?

Many of these points are inter-related.  I suspect that others may have similar reasons for not monetising their blogs.  I am not saying that people shouldn’t monetise, but I also think that there are valid reasons for not heading in that direction.  Your thoughts?


31 thoughts on “Why I don’t monetise my blog.

  1. Your blog is one of my favourites to read ! I like that you don’t do sponsored posts. It feels more real to me. I love your honesty. Good for you for staying true to how you feel about this.

  2. I love your blog! It gives me great pleasure to see the vast production of wonderful clothes you make in such delightful fabrics, colors and styles for your whole family. It gives a lift to my day, especially since I have virtually no time to sew for now, to see the latest things you’ve made. Thank you!

  3. I am with you there. I don’t make money from my blog. It is more my version of scrap booking. I make what I like and when I like and post when I feel like it. I try to be honest with my appraisal of the things I make without upsetting anyone in the process. I have had an online business in the past and keeping an online presence visible is an all consuming process. I have neither the time or inclination to do that again. I am happy with the small number of readers who visit and the ones who comment, always make my day.

    Lara, your blog is always one of the first ones I read and even if I don’t always find the time to comment, I do read every post. Keep up the good work!

  4. I Love your blog . It pops up on my I pad and it’s like a quick chat with a sewing buddy . I would love to blog too but only have an iPad and don’t understand how to do all the photos etc . The physical side of it has me stumped . I am of the generation where we picked up bits and pieces on a need to know basis at work but never got really proficient at computers. I often feel a bit guilty being a taker when it comes to blogging about sewing . I notice quite a few bloggers get burnt out and stop posting . I hope that doesn’t happen to you because I am enjoying your hobby . Mem in Brunswick

  5. Oh I’m with you! The one thing I’ve noticed (more with quilting blogs than sewing blogs though) is that the voice of the blogger changes with monetisation and “cash for comment” . It’s insane. Blogging is about the freedom to use your own voice, and voice your own opinions.

    Anyway, I don’t tend to read quilting blogs much as a result, and there are some sewing bloggers who are heading that way too. Life is too short to be reading a blog that doesn’t feel genuine anymore.

    Like you I blog for myself, as a little online scrapbook to remind me what I made, and why, and who for.

  6. I really enjoy reading your blog. I loved seeing your vacation pictures, it was fun to hear about your adventures, plus see you wearing things you had sewn on your trip! I don’t have enough readers to try to monetize, but I don’t think I would anyway because doing things for money definitely sucks some of the fun out of it!

  7. I think there is room for both. The important thing for me is that it is clear to the readers which type of blog it is.
    I can understand why some choose to use a sewing blog for a commercial purpose, especially if it is being used as part of their business. One of the commenters above mentioned monitised blogs being less genuine. I had to think about that and actually I have to tend to agree. The comment that is often seen ‘The product was provided/given for free, but all opinions are my own’ etc does not really take into account the powerful psychological tensions between being paid (or receiving a product for free) and providing an opinion on said product.
    For me, the non-monitised sewing blogs are hugely important in the online sewing community and are the ones that we should ensure continue to hold that valuable place, alongside the monetised ones.

  8. Thank you Lara! I understand why people want to monetise their blogs and am also fine with that, but as a fellow busy professional who sews as relaxation/therapy (I don’t blog) I love reading sewing blogs as inspiration and to relax. I am beginning to find more and more of the ones that have been monetised tiresome. We are so bombarded with advertising everywhere, I am a bit sad to see personal sewing blogs going the same way.

    I wish these people well making a business out of sewing, but have stopped reading a lot of their blogs because of their advertorial nature.


  9. I write a very personal blog about what interests me. I don’t get paid and I write only when and about what I want. I agree completely with your rationale for not monetizing.

    I’ve met so many interesting people IRL through blogging. I recruited one reader for my former employer and we (the hiree and I) split a $5000 recruiting bonus.

    One of the reasons I got my current job was they liked the writing I demonstrated on my blog. In fact, the National Science Foundation is asking females in STEM to write more about all the facets of their work-life balance. So, I guess I am writing a bit for money because they pay my salary and it is one of their stated goals for people they fund.

  10. Hi Lara, I love your blog and although I don’t comment often I do read it at least once a week.
    I really admire your thoughts and the fact that you aren’t afraid to put them out there. I also really admire your sewing capabilities! We have children of similar ages, so its great to see what you make your girls, and I just wish that I could make the time (and have the skills) to make my own garments too! Cheers, Michelle

  11. I don’t think bloggers should feel the need to justify monetising their content. I do sometimes find it annoying when sponsors or affiliates dictate content, but I can generally get over it. I appreciate them taking the time to explain though, I think that shows a good respect for their readers.
    I’m fairly certain that my sporadic posts have probably only been read by about 4 people (and I’m ok with that,) so clearly making money from my content is not likely. The blogs I enjoy most are those where the author is combining a hobby they love with a day job and family life (and surely countless other things) – because that is a reflection of me. Yours definitely fits into that category.
    Even if I had the readership to make it worthwhile, I can’t imagine the appeal of anything other than my whims or desires dictating my hobby.
    Plus as a government employee I’d need approval for another source of income and I just can’t imagine that conversation. While I’ve been writing this it appears my son has eaten a green texta and so my other duties call :). Always a pleasure to read your blog

  12. The issue of monetising blogs is an interesting one. Context is so important to how we read what we read. While I don’t condemn anyone for monetising their blog,I can’t help but feel that I read a more authentic voice from unmonetised blogs.
    I think there is also a distinction to make between blogs that market an established business, and those where the blog came first and the business second. With the latter, your eyes are more important to the success or failure of their business, and I find it impossible not to feel a bit manipulated. Just my opinion.
    I always enjoy reading your blog, and appreciate it’s unmonetised state!

  13. Great post Lara, the monetised blogs that actually annoy me are the ones that don’t disclose the fact they have been paid or given something for free. When someone gives you something for free and then you post about it you have been “paid” saying “I was gifted this item but didn’t have to write about it if I didn’t want to but hey it was great so here is my raving review” really annoy me. If they product is so great then buy it yourself then write about how great it is.

  14. I agree 100%! I think you made a great point: there’s a clear distinction between a hobby blog and a business blog. It all depends on what your goals are. Personally, I love sewing so much that I would never want to turn it into my job – I think that would ruin it! Keep on sewing and blogging for yourself. Your readers will keep coming back. 🙂

  15. The moment a blogger tells me that the item (fabric, pattern, sewing item, unrelated accessory, whatever) they’re talking about was given to them for review/by a sponsor/for free but that the opinion they’re expressing is their own and not influenced–I immediately *don’t* believe them. It is always a turn-off. And if someone has sponsored links/affiliate links and I’m interested in checking them out, I always find the site by myself and search for the item. I *refuse* to use the blogger’s link.

    Lara, one of the things I love about your blog (just one, mind you) is the visual cleanness of it: it’s almost completely just your commentary interspersed by good-sized photos showing the garments you’ve sewn.

  16. I agree with you. I tried monetizing my blog about a year ago and then I stopped blogging and sewing. I just didn’t enjoy it any more. I’ve started sewing again and may start blogging again but money isn’t going to be part of the equation anytime soon.

  17. You’ve put it very well. it may seem a little selfish but I prefer to read blogs by people who are, like yourself, doing it because you like to sew, and like to talk about sewing. I don’t begrudge anyone monetizing their blog, it just makes the blog a lot less interesting to me. I love reading your sewing posts, and I really enjoyed your series on your holiday too.

  18. I truly don’t understand the need to make money from a hobby.

    I don’t look at my bookshelves and think of all the money I’ve spent on books and think, why can’t I monetize this? I don’t consider it a waste of my time and efforts because I’ve been doing all this reading and no one is compensating me. I take pleasure in the reading, and in the writing of reviews when I do that too. That’s why it’s a hobby, and not a job.

    Same with the blog and the sewing.

    I also agree with paloverde that it’s pretty much impossible to get something for free and not have that influence your opinion.

    It all makes me increasingly grateful for the presence and activity of bloggers who don’t monetize. 🙂

  19. You reflect on each garment sewn and document the alterations to the patterns that were required. I asked my sister, Annieflowergarden, if you were a professional pattern tester. I would not have been surprised if the answer was yes. But she explained that sewing is your hobby. Wow. I would like to do more sewing but only get time to keep up with what you are sewing.

  20. I don’t often comment but I love reading your blog. I wish I could sew like you and I learn a lot from your journalling process. Thanks for making the effort. I can understand why some people do monetize their blogs but I really appreciate blogs like yours. Thanks for being so honest.

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